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George Elliott Lawes

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George Elliott Lawes (1869-1912)

1912 Obituary [1]

GEORGE ELLIOT Lawns was born at Aberdare, South Wales, on 1st July 1869.

He received his early training as an engineer under Mr. E. M. Hann in the Powell Duffryn Works at Aberdare.

On the termination of his apprenticeship in 1889, he went to Buenos Aires and served for five years on the Port Works and with the Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway in the capacity of fitter, valve-setter, and later trial engine driver, taking up the position in 1894 of Acting Locomotive Superintendent of the Argentine North East Railway, where he introduced many labour-saving appliances.

In 1904 he became Locomotive and Stores Superintendent of the Paraguay Central Railway, in which country he was the only representative of the Institution, acting also as magistrate, doctor, and chief constable of the little township inhabited by the workmen and their families.

Three years later he transferred his services to the Peruvian Central Railway in the same capacity and, after a short holiday, was engaged in July 1911 as Stores and Locomotive Superintendent of the Brazil North Eastern Railways, a new company.

His intimate knowledge of the Spanish language and customs, combined with his experience in so many of the republics of Latin America, placed him amongst the highest authorities on the management of native labour on railways in those republic, One of his inventions was an oil-burner which dispensed with the necessity of introducing cold air into the furnace. It was fully experimented with and proved highly successful, effecting a saving of 30 per cent. in oil over other burners.

He died at Ceara, Brazil, after a short illness, on 14th February 1912, of yellow fever, at the age of forty-two.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1904; he was also a Member of the Royal Society of Arts.

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